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Here is just a few of the millions and billions of things that doctors and breeders can and will say to us who are trying to lead a childfree. Have you had any bingos thrown at you? What else should I add to the list?

•“you look at it differently when it’s your own child” (what, the screaming and crying? — the secretions and excretions? — the fact that you’ve had to give up all of your own personal interests and goals to spend 24 hours a day focused on a completely helpless and dependent infant? — I’m sure you do look at them differently when it’s your own child — because at that point, you have no choice but to put up with the mess and exhaustion, all the frustrations and disappointments — society doesn’t allow you to give a kid back after you realize that you’ve made a massive mistake and you are completely miserable in the role of parent — and I don’t want to risk being trapped like that — so I’m making the choice up front, while I still have a choice, not to put myself in a position where I have to see things differently just to get through each day without killing myself or my child — I’ll just stand right over here where I still have some perspective and observe, thank you very much)
•“you’ll forget all about the pain of labor” (it’s not the pain of labor that worries me, it’s the 18 years of pain that follow — a little blood and agony isn’t going to stop me from doing something I really want to do — for example, I’ve crashed while rollerblading in the past, but I still keep strapping on the skates because I enjoy all of it, even the injuries — but if I don’t want to do something in the first place, like childbirth, the threat of pain is just an even bigger disincentive to avoid that activity in the first place)
•“don’t you want to hear the pitter-patter of little feet around the house?” (I already do — that’s why I have cats — I firmly believe that as humans, we have an intrinsic need to care for something smaller than ourselves, but who says it has to be a child? — I get all the affection and unconditional love I need from my furbabies — they’re cuter than most kids, just as interactive and responsive and amusing, but they’ll never ask me for the car keys or yell in my face that they hate me and wish I wasn’t their parent)
•“who will take care of you when you’re old?” (my well-funded retirement plan and the very attractive 20-something houseboy with the firm buttocks that I plan to hire — seriously, how selfish is it for folks to have children in order to burden those kids with looking after their elderly parents some day? — my philosophy in life is “take care of yourself,” and that means planning ahead for my eventual mental and physical decline — I much prefer to know that I’ve got enough money in the bank for a high-quality staff, complete with gourmet chef and masseuse, rather than expecting a possibly resentful and overworked son or daughter to wipe my drool and carry me to the bathroom when I can’t make it on my own anymore — and since I’m not having kids, I’ve got plenty of cash to put in that retirement account!)
•“what if your parents had decided not to have kids?” (then I wouldn’t be here to argue with you, and I wouldn’t know the difference — true, you would have been robbed of my scintillating wit, my brilliant logic, and my sparkling personality — but I’m a flyspeck in the grand scheme of things — the world would have kept on revolving, even if I weren’t here to brighten everyone’s day — the same is true of my perpetually unborn children)
•“he/she would be precious with your eyes and his nose” (that might be the case, but that’s not a good enough reason to bring a child I don’t want into the world — folks talk about the child-free decision being selfish — but how selfish is it to create a little “mini-me” just so people will compliment you on what nice genetic code you’ve got? — if the only way you can validate your existence on the planet is by creating a carbon-copied-clone of yourself, you might want to rethink your priorities)
•“your biological clock is ticking” (I took the batteries out of my biological clock a long time ago — certainly, all females have a timetable for reproduction — you only get so many eggs, and so many years, and once they run out, you’re S.O.L. — but the capacity to conceive and a deadline for doing so does necessarily lead to a desire for children — this idea that all women come hard-wired with an evolutionary need to reproduce is a myth — and there has never been one shred of scientific evidence that the uterus comes with any kind of automatic alarm or reminder system — to suggest that intelligent human beings are at the mercy of their hormones is ludicrous — there’s more to wanting a child than just knowing that your ovaries are going to shut down one day — you’re only running out of time if you had planned on having it in the first place)
•“you were a child once, too” (yeah, so? — I mean really, where’s the logic in this argument? — how does my having experienced youth have anything to do with my decision to reproduce? — the two issues are entirely unrelated)
•“the children are our future” (but they aren’t the only thing that makes up our future — scientific advancement is our future — logical thinking skills are our future — intellectual discourse is our future — humanity toward our fellow man is our future — education is our future — fiscal responsibility is our future — creativity of expression is our future — whoever decided that the future was made up of nothing but screaming, squalling brats was a tad shortsighted, don’t you think?)
•“parenthood is the most important job in the world” (I don’t particularly think that carpooling to soccer practice and double-checking math homework and trying to prevent a horny 13-year-old from impregnating a classmate is any more valuable than what I or my husband or any other no-kidder does for a living — really, where do parents get off assuming that what they do is more important than anyone else’s job, just because they aren’t being paid? — what about that paramedic who resuscitates a drowning victim, or the fire fighter who keeps someone’s home from burning down, or a sociologist whose insight helps us understand each other a little better, or an artist whose work fills the world with beauty, or even a CPA who keeps someone from being audited by the IRS? — I’m sorry, but I value these pursuits as much as parenting — frankly, I think it’s arrogant and more than a little insulating to set yourself at the top of the heap, just because you gave birth — careers in science and math and music and medicine require skill, while reproduction is something any monkey can do)
•“don’t you want your parents to have grandchildren?” (well, my parents are both dead, so it’s really a moot point — they already had grandkids, thanks to my older sisters, and honestly, they weren’t so hot at being grandparents — not sure they really enjoyed the role, and they definitely weren’t like what you see on the Waltons — besides, it’s not my job to reproduce just so an older couple can have the joy of spoiling children they didn’t have to raise — if your parents want that, refer them to the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program — I never signed a contract with these people promising them offspring in return for giving me life, that’s just not part of the deal — and if they’re disappointed, they had unreasonable expectations to begin with)
•“don’t you like kids? or maybe you had an unhappy childhood?” (natalists always like to assume that there’s a “reason” for your remaining child-free — either you were abused as a youngster, or you hate children, or you’ve somehow been traumatized into a state of irrationality regarding childbirth — that may be true for some folks, but not for me — I like well-behaved kids very much, I just don’t want them in my house 24 hours a day — I had an incredibly happy childhood, and I’m grateful to my parents for everything they gave me as I was growing up — but that doesn’t automatically mean that I have any interest in following in their footsteps)
•“but your child could grow up to discover a cure for cancer” (sure, it could happen — but he could also grow up to be Charles Manson — I know every parent has high hopes for that darling little bundle of fluff in the bassinet — but you have to recognize that not every child is destined to become a valuable member of society — in fact, some turn out downright destructive — and no matter how good a parent you might try to be, no one has complete control over a kid’s personality — so many other factors can warp and twist him on his path to adulthood, then the parents are blamed for turning their offspring into a monster — I have to imagine that Ted Bundy’s mother carries around an enormous amount of guilt over what her son did — so why do I want to take that risk?)
•“it’s selfish to keep your future son or daughter from experiencing the world” (oh my lord — so every single egg that goes to waste in my body is the equivalent of me denying another person the chance to live? — if the kid isn’t even born yet, he doesn’t know what he’s missing, and he’s certainly not around to blame me for his lack of opportunity — as a Professional Organizer and a Simplicity Coach, I teach my clients to let go of the “should have’s” and “could have’s” — life is all about what is, not what “might” have been, and I refuse guilty because of something that never happened)
•“but you’d make a great parent” (I’m sure I would, probably better than most of the breeders that I see out there — but that doesn’t mean I want to be one — I might make a really excellent prostitute, but I have no interest in that particular career path — should I be required to do it anyway, just because I might be good at it? — I’m all for making the most of your strengths in life, but come on!)
•“you’ll grow up and change your mind eventually” (some people can’t stand it when others choose a different path in life than theirs — they like to assume, usually in a very patronizing tone of voice, that it’s just a youthful “phase,” a naive and incomplete understanding of the world — and that once you’ve accrued a sufficient level of maturity, you’ll see the light — well, I’ve been quite content with the decision not to breed for more than three and a half decades — I presume that if I were going to have matured any further, I would have done it by now — and I can’t even begin to imagine any sort of life-change that would convince me that I’ve made a mistake and cause me to suddenly reverse my stance at this late stage — at what point am I “grown-up” enough to make my own decisions?)
•“your life just isn’t complete without kids” (really? — this one is so irrational, I almost don’t know how to respond — all I can say is that “completeness” is in the eye of the beholder, and my life is plenty full without a yard full of kindercrap — what if I told you that your life isn’t complete until you’ve owned your own business? — or traveled the world? — or donated a kidney? — or learned to love sushi? — I would be holding you to a standard that has no meaning or relevance in your life at all — and that’s exactly what you’re doing when you suggest my life isn’t complete without rug rats)
•“why did you get married if you don’t want kids?” (because I love my spouse and want to spend the rest of my life with him — since when is marriage nothing but a vehicle for reproduction? — I’m sorry, but I just don’t view my husband as a stud horse — he’s more than just a penis, he’s my best friend and life companion — actually, I would ask the same question in reverse — if all you wanted from your mate was his semen, why get married? — you could have gotten what you needed from the local sperm bank with a lot less fuss and expense)
•“there won’t be anyone to carry on your family name” (if I want my family name remembered, then I’ll do something memorable, not count on my spawn to do it for me — I am too busy leaving other legacies to worry about whether or not I produce a child named “Creel”)
•“having kids was the best thing I ever did and I wouldn’t give them up for anything” (great, that’s how it should be — those that have children say they couldn’t imagine life without them — but those of us without offspring can’t and often don’t want to imagine life with them — we don’t know what we’re missing, so we can’t regret not having it — we’re entirely happy with what we’ve got now and don’t feel the need to fill any sort of a hole in our lives with kids — it’s a win-win all around — oh, and since this has been such an amazingly stellar experience for you, I shouldn’t have to listen to you bitch about your parenting responsibilities ever again, right?)
•“childbirth is a woman’s greatest achievement” (if the most I can hope to accomplish in life is squeezing a pink fleshy watermelon out of my vagina, then kill me now! — again, arrogant and insulting — I am accomplishing a great deal in my life, more than I ever would if I were busy changing diapers and cooking grilled-cheese sandwiches all day long — and if you discount the achievements of child-free women throughout history just because they never bore a baby, you’re a fool — we wouldn’t have the Red Cross or “Gone With The Wind” or the right to vote if it weren’t for no-kidders like Clara Barton, Margaret Mitchell, and Susan B. Anthony — blacks might still be at the back of the bus if Rosa Parks had stayed home that day to wipe runny noses — and where would all you daytime TV watchers be if Oprah had chosen to pump out a litter of kids instead of rule the airwaves? — screwed, that’s where!)
•“I’d just hate to end up a bitter, sad old woman” (I’m actually setting myself up for a very happy, contented elder-experience — and who says that YOU won’t be the one to end up sad and bitter? — I know many more crabby old breeders than crabby old no-kidders — in fact, the child-free are less likely to be depressed and resentful in their autumn years than those with a full brood for many reasons — first, you stand a better chance at fulfillment, having lived your life the way you wanted instead of playing the martyr to your kids needs — second, without all those unrealistic expectations about how your offspring will turn out, you have less opportunity for disappointment later in life — and third, you don’t have those feelings of abandonment that so many parents experience when their children leave home to have a life of their own and don’t come back for every single holiday and birthday and summer vacation — honestly, I think it’s a lot more bitter to try and make someone feel bad about their choice not to have kids — if you were personally contented with your own life, I don’t think you’d feel the need to spend so much energy worrying about how I structure mine)
•“you must be so lonely” (child, please — I’ve never been lonely a single day of my life — I have too many interests and too gregarious a personality to sit home moping, pining away, wishing I had a baby to keep me company — the fact that I don’t have children has actually paved the way for me to have much more stimulating and interesting relationships than many parents, whose social circle is often limited to the moms and dads of their kids’ friends — I’m free to travel the country and interact with all sorts of fascinating people, folks I never would have had a chance to know if I were stuck home all day with a kid — don’t worry about me, I’m just fine)
•“if everyone did what you’re doing, the population would die out” (first off, the human race is in more danger of killing itself off due to overpopulation than declining birth rates, so let’s jump off that bridge when we get to it — second, I’m not suggesting that no one else ever have kids again, I’m just making that choice for myself — third, unless we’re hit by some plague that causes world-wide sterility, it’s highly unlikely that our numbers will dip so low as to put us in danger — and really, would it be the worst thing in the world if people did eventually go the way of the dinosaurs? — you’ll be dead, so you won’t care that your legacy isn’t being carried on any longer — and nothing is meant to last forever — if and when that happens, it’ll just be our species’s time to go)